Nintendo’s latest store expansion has opened today. The London Pokémon Center brings a tonne of new, exciting Pokémon merchandise to England’s streets. This new store opening coincides with Pokémon Sword and Shield’s release. Both upcoming generation 8 mainline games are set in the Galar region, based on the United Kingdom.
Any eager fans that visited Pokémon Center London came across some brutal queues. For example, some fans who began queuing at 8:30 am only managed to get in by 1 pm. Even as a huge Pokémon fan, I doubt I could stomach a five-hour queue. Mind you, they do say the British love a good queue.
Much of the merchandise available is what you would expect. Plushies, trading cards, stickers, mugs. All those classics goods you often see at geek conventions like Comic-Con. Because this is a London store we’re speaking about, prices are not cheap. Smaller plushies feature a reasonable entry price of £20 but the largest one’s peak at £240. To be fair, these prices aren’t too different from existing Pokemon Centers worldwide.
For those more interested in the games side of Pokemon, the London Centre features a hardware area too. Here you can play a demo of Sword and Shield or pick up a Switch in preparation of its full release next month.
Unfortunately, Pokemon Center London is not a permanent shop opening. Instead, Nintendo has announced it will only remain open until November 15th. Basically, the release date for Sword and Shield. It’s disappointing that we aren’t getting a proper full-time Pokemon shop. After all, the glamorous Pokemon Center in Tokyo has stood strong for well over a year.
If truth be told, this isn’t the first time Nintendo has done this. For Pokemon X and Y, they launched a temporary Center in Paris too. If anything, we should be grateful. The Paris Pokemon Center only lasted two weeks. In contrast, the London Center will remain open for double that.
Are you planning on visiting London over the next four weeks? If so, it’s probably worth checking out. Furthermore, this weekend signals the start of EGX London. A great two for one deal if you’re looking for a fun weekend in England’s renowned capital.